|Official Language: Italian|
|Government: Parliamentary republic|
|Head of State: Laguino Rafelio|
|Formation: 17 March 1861|
|Population: 59,619,290 (2008)|
|Currency: Euro (€) EUR|
|¨Human Rights Record¨ Human Rights Watch Italy's website|
|¨Territorial Disputes¨ Technically Mont Blanc is contested between Italy and France although this was dropped long ago as an issue of debate, also Italy claims a Small 3m-by-60m strip along the Passetto di Borgo in the vicinity of the Vatican City which is currently owned by the Holy See|
|¨Ongoing Conflicts¨ The Italians have 2,350 troops in Afghanistan as of September 2008. Italian troops currently lead Regional Command West, and the PRT in Herat Province. Although the mandate issued by the Parliament of Italy does not allow Italian forces to take part in the battle against the Taliban insurgency in the south and east of Afghanistan, other than in exceptional circumstances, the Italian Minister of Defense Ignazio La Russa has officially stated in July 2008 that such combat activities have indeed taken place over the last year in the Farah area.|
Welcome to the international embassy of Italy! (Player added remarks)
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Italy (Italian: Italia), officially the Italian Republic, (Italian: Repubblica Italiana), is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia. Italy shares its northern Alpine boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within the Italian Peninsula, while Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland.
Today, Italy is a democratic republic and a developed country with the 8th-highest Quality-of-life index rating in the world. It is a founding member of what is now the European Union (having signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957), and a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is a member of the G8 (having the world's 7th largest nominal GDP), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization (WTO), the Council of Europe, the Western European Union, the Central European Initiative, and a Schengen state. It has the world's 7th largest defence budget and shares NATO's nuclear weapons. On 1 January 2007, Italy began a two year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Italy has been the home of many European cultures, such as the Etruscans and the Romans, and later was the birthplace of the universities and of the movement of the Renaissance, that began in Tuscany and spread all over Europe. Italy's capital Rome was for centuries the center of Western civilization; it also spawned the Baroque movement and seats the Catholic Church. Italy possessed a colonial empire from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.
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